Decisionism in Christianity is the belief that a person is saved by coming forward, raising the hand, saying a prayer, believing a doctrine, making a lordship commitment, or some other external, human act, which is taken as the equivalent to, and proof of, the miracle of inward conversion. It is believed that a person is saved through the mere means of external decision and that performing one of these human actions also gives sufficient evidence of regeneration. Many who do not use an "invitation" still hold a form of "decisionism" that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones called "Sandemanianism" (Banner of Truth Trust, 1987, "Puritans: Their Origins and Successors").

In contrast, Conversion is the result of that work of the Holy Spirit which draws a lost sinner to Jesus Christ for justification and regeneration, and changes the sinner's standing before God from lost to saved, imparting divine life to the depraved soul, thus producing a new direction in the life of the convert. The objective side of salvation is justification. The subjective side of salvation is regeneration. The result is conversion.


Paul Washer